Shed Painting

imageDear Parent Volunteers

Our first challenge to develop the reception garden for next year is to paint sheds. Two are storage sheds, the third, we aim to turn into a sand pit similar to nursery.

If you’re free first Wednesday morning back to help us then come along. We have the paint and brushes, tea and biscuits, just bring enthusiasm!

I then need a dad with a (preferably) cordless drill to help put things up inside the sandpit shed.

Mrs. Quinn.

Den Day

I  will be out of class Monday to Thursday,  but I am really looking forward to Den Day on Friday, June 17th. #hopeitdoesntrain.

This is a day for parents to come in and build dens with the children. I Haven’t run this before, so it could last an hour, but depending where the children take it, you’re welcome to stay longer. Parent’s don’t need to stay all session.

Opportunities to build dens of all shapes and sizes are vital for our young children as they offer so many possibilities for learning; negotiation, creative thinking, sustained and shared thinking, planning, creativity, evaluating, constructing, connecting, investigating, mark making and just plain old joyful expressiont

  • Social development: Building reaionships
  • Commnication: Listening, undestanding, negotiating, compromising.
  • Physical development: Moving and handling, using resources safely.
  • Maths: Working wih shape, size, weight, measurement issues.
  • Art and design: Expolring media and materilas. They will start discussing then drawing their den with you, thinking about what materials they might use and their properties. They can then test their designs with you for real. They can get creative and decorate flags, signs and bunting.
  • Literacy: The children will be encouraged to make signs, bunting, and flags for the den.
  • Understanding the World: Awareness of materials; awareness of different homes
  • The aim of the challenge is to creatively engineer a structure that stands up from easily sourced everyday materials.
  • At least one person should be able to sit inside the den.
  • The den should be able to stay upright without someone needing to hold it.

Feel free to bring in…

I don’t have resources for 53 children to build their own den. So please have a think about resources you could bring in on the day. We’ll group teams together. Parents will be there to encourage, guide, inspire.

  • Sheets, blankets
  • String, tape
  • Canes, poles
  • Tarpaulin
  • Boxes
  • Clotheslines
  • Rubber bands
  • Shower curtains
  • Cushions (we like a bit of luxury too)

We’ll provide juice and a biscuit to have in the  completed den. Maybe you would like to read a story in the den with the children.

Reception are now running this event on a different date.

Will it be a cardboard castle or a terrific tee-pee? 

  • Who can make the best den, with regard to comfort, appearance?
  • Who can make the biggest den, and how many people can fit in it?
  • vCan you make a weather-proof den?  – Judge by pouring kover a bucket of water!
  • Who can make a camouflaged/colourful den?

Save the Date!

Mrs. Quinn.
Maybe try making a den at home and send me a photograph.

Week of May 16th

We have had a fabulous Science Week!

Our Sensory bottles were a big success. We heard lots of lovely observations and explanations about what the children could see happening.

“I put beads, sticks and glitter in the water but when I turned it over it made a pattern. It’s like a glittery fire ball. The beads go to the top, they are floating. I can go on my back and float in the sea too. Some are going down because they are sinking.” Layla

“I put beads and alphabet and big shapes in it. The balls aren’t sinking but the tiny things did, like the numbers and pasta. The sprinkles sunk but the other things floated.” Ava H

” Some bits are heavy and they stay down because they are heavy”. Maya.

“They floated down to the bottom. The beads are tiny so they go to the top because they are light. Look!, the sparkles are going down.” Aliza shook the bottle and said it looked like a snow globe.

“I added marbles, shells, sand, jewels and a cork. The cork is too light so it floated. The beads floated but the marbles sank. Cork is light and beads are light but shells and other things are heavy so sink.” Max W


We also had a visit from Jungle Jo, and met lots of huge mini beasts.

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The children have been painting butterflies. I wouldn’t normally use a template to paint on in Early Years but my focus was on the visual symmetry, which the children clearly began to understand. We heard language such as ‘the same, matching.’

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Look how these young girls worked together to create a symmetrical butterfly on the light table.

The children are still observing the changes in our tadpoles daily, so they were given a life cycle to cut out in Busy Fingers time to demonstrate their understanding, whilst practising their scissor skills.


A few more:

Next Week: We are still encouraging the children to represent their understanding of mini-beasts and will provide transient art resources to create their own bugs.

However, from discussions about floating and sinking this week, and reading ‘Who Sank the Boat, many children are keen to build their own boat and put things in it to make it sink! We are collecting containers for our junk modeling for this purpose.

  • Please keep practising oral counting with your child, at least to 20, and count anything and everything supporting accurate counting.
  • I’d love feedback on the syllable  sheet I sent home.

Save the date: Sports Date is June 21st. Please let me know what colour team the children’s siblings are in.

June 17th/18th are National den building days. I would like to do something for this with you and the children, so keep the date and more details to follow, dads too!

  • I have had two parents out of 53 express an interest and willingness to help develop next years reception area. Anymore?????

Mrs. Quinn




Week of May 10th

On Tuesday I attended a fantastic conference about getting children moving. The lovely Jan White, author of Every Child A Mover presented on

  • Physical movement is an innate need for children
  • Physical movement helps neurons in the brain communicate  which in turn leads to academic success.
  • Good learning involves physical movement.
  • The body and mind is one system, thought is action internalised

When looking at the need for movement and the ways children need to move she really brought it home to all adults in the room with a check list – do you remember doing this…. does your child do this…?

  • Trying to swing so high, you aim to go right over the swing frame.
  • Lying your tummy on a swing seat, swing forwards and back.
  • Lying on your tummy on the swing, twisting the swing in one direction then lifting your feet to let it turn all the way back.
  • Hold your parents hands, climb up their body with your feet, then turn over.
  • Being held by your parent, one arm, one ankle and flying round like an aeroplane.
  • Hanging upside down on monkey bars.
  • Log rolls down a hill.
  • Sitting on a metal bar, one leg over, go forwards, swing all way round back to the top.
  • Swinging on a rope.
  • Your mum or dad lie on their back, legs up in the air and you balanced on their feet, arms out stretched.
  • Spin round and round, arms out stretched until you almost fall down.
  • Wheel-barrow races with a friend.
  • Handstands against a wall.
  • Try to stand on one leg, then try with your eyes closed.

Chidren need to do all these things to develop their sense of balance, spatial awareness, upper body and core strength so they can support their body for the increasingly long periods of time they are expected to sit and write, which isn’t fully developed until age 7.

HOMEWORK: Over the next few weeks, make a real effort to ensure your kids are outside and moving, learning to assess risk, take risks,  experience spinning, turning, rolling, jumping, pushing, pulling, hanging, stretching etc. I’d love to see photos. This week I returned to nursery with a renewed commitment to auditing our outside area –  across Early Years, to ensure children are physically challenged daily.

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That said, for those of you joining us in reception class next September, there is a huge challenge ahead to get the outside area ‘child ready.’  As Head of Early Years, I am working wih Miss Turffrey to develop the outdoor curriculum. We are a task force  of two at the moment but we are hoping that lots of you can volunteer your time, skills and creativeness to develop the Early Years area in Reception. Don’t be shy, I have a job with your name on it…

First off, the children of our lovely Mrs. Kimber have donated their outdoor trampoline. I intend to dig a large hole and put it in the ground. I need to work fast before they change their mind! Could you give a few hours to help? I also want to create a tyre mountain (thanks for the tyres Mrs Lomas) and also simply a huge mound of earth – can you imagine the fun pushing that large blue barrel to the top then letting it go, or doing log rolls to the bottom, racing your friends. There are also swings to put up, a mud kitchen to build, a garden area to be ripped out and re-landscaped. We need shelves outdoors for resources, a water area built and I would like to turn one of the sheds into a sand pit as it is so hugely popular in nursery. A letter went out this week asking for your help. Please get in touch asap.


A few more photos:

Next Week: We are continuing to plant seeds and care for the garden. Did your cress grow? The children have also been looking for bugs so they are going to look at insects more closely. I will be making sensory bottles as an adult led activity as part of Science Week.

Keep reading your Teddy words if your child shows that they are ready and interested.

I am also focusing on oral counting this week.  How high can your child count securely?


Mrs. Quinn


Science Week

Next week is Science Week. I would like to introduce the children to Sensory bottles.  It would be great if each child could bring in a 2L bottle  that I hope to fill with a variety of resources.

There will be opportunity to develop language about floating, sinking, density, colour changing, magnetism etc.

I hope to give the children lots of choice to create an individual sensory bottle

Can you help resource:

Food colouring, baby oil,   which will form the basis of the sensory bottles.

Also: Water beads (used for flowers), coloured stones (kind used in fish tanks),

sequins, stones, shells, buttons, small saped pasta, pom poms, small alphabet, loom bands, marbles, googly eyes, plastic numbers, beads, tinsel, corks, shopkins, the list is endless, so anything  that can fit through the neck of the bottle and won’t perish in the water.

Mrs. Quinn.



Week of May 2nd

What a lovely week.  I have observed the children’s growing fascination with the garden. We are encouraging them to independently select, plant and care for their own plants. All took home cress this week, which is quick growing so they can observe changes first hand. Will they have egg and cress sandwiches soon?

They have also been representing their understanding at the art easel so we are going to encourage this next week by providing resources to make 3D flowers.


The children have enjoyed our role play Flower shop which provided opportunities to wrap bunches of flowers then make labels. I’m impressed with how many of our younger children are showing an interest in mark making and beginning to form some recognisable letters.

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Our tadpoles continue to thrive. The children’s keen interest in watching their growth is supporting us focus on their understanding of the  world around them, and to develop care and concern for all living things. The children are great at getting binoculars or magnifying glasses to get a closer look.


To develop knowledge of how plants grow I provided seeds to sort, using different tweezers. Not all children understand that some fruits and veg grow from seeds so we will take a closer look at this next week. Maybe you could point out the seeds and talk about food that grows below, above ground or on trees when eating with your child.

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Next week:

We are providing resources to encourage children to plant then care for their own flowers and veg and to represent their world, this continues on from this week. We are also going to take a closer look at  fruit and veg and see how and where they grow.

In phonics we continue to develop phonological skills to hear initial sounds in words and rhymming words as well as continue to develop letter recognition. I continue to monitor to Teddy Words so do let me know if your child has been practising so I can listen to them and see their progress. If your child isn’t interested don’t worry, they will fly when they are ready!

Maths is focusing on sorting, comparing and talking about size, shape. As our flowers begin to grow we will try to measure them.  I would also like to encourage the children to record changes over time in the garden and as the tadpoles grow.

I continue to encourage name writing but key is to get the children to form the letters correctly as bad habits are hard to break later. Please support your child to use anti-clockwise movements to form letters such as c,o,g,d, and to start letters at the top.

If you have any seeds/bulbs or soil to donate we would welcome it.

Mrs. Quinn